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Eco Friendly home renovations

Posted By NEWS CANADA - Sudbury Star - July 26, 2008

If you're thinking about a change, make your renovations about more than just dramatic colours and designer details: ecofriendly products can add life and value to your real estate, save money by reducing energy use and even make your home a healthier place to live in.

Look for the Government of Canada's EcoLogo program symbol in purchasing products for your next project. The EcoLogo program verifies a product meets specific environmental leadership standards. There are more than 7,000 products in Canada marked with EcoLogo, including home and building products. See for more details.


Opt for paints and paint strippers that contain little or no solvents. For indoor jobs, use water-or clay-based paints to avoid releasing volatile organic compounds.


If you want carpeting, make sure it's formaldehyde-free and use a water-based adhesive for installation. Better yet, choose all-natural linoleum, durable hardwood or new greener options such as rapidly renewable -- or reclaimed -- wood or cork (which can be harvested without damaging the tree).


When shopping for new furniture, choose pieces made with water-based varnish or stain or visit consignment or antique shops to bring new life to "gently used" furnishings.


Cut your energy costs by installing low-flow toilets, ENERGY STAR qualified appliances, dimmer switches and ceiling fans. Update the insulation in your walls and attic and seal all gaps around fixtures, openings, doors and window frames with exterior caulk to keep your place cool through the summer months.

The Government of Canada's ecoENERGY Retrofit -- Homes program provides home and property owners with grants of up to $5,000 to offset the cost of making energy efficiency improvements. The average grant is close to $1,000 and yields, on average, a 25 per cent reduction in energy use and costs.

More information is available at

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